Movie Review/Rant: The Help

August 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” ~Aibileen Clark

People have a lot of things about The Help.  Most of the comments surround the movie adaptation of a book of the same title by Kathryn Stockett.

On one hand you have the reviews of outrage: http://www.thefeministwire.com/2011/08/12/kathryn-stockett-is-not-my-sister-and-i-am-not-her-help/#.TlHRcj1fnb0.facebook

On the other hand, you have the “tell it like it is” reviews: http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/movies/the-help-spans-two-worlds-white-and-black-review.html 

And on the other hand, you have the reviews of most of the women of color in my sphere of influence who say “it was great!, I loved it!, It was a tear-jerker!, and I can relate to _______ (insert character here).

But I have my own thoughts. I read the book. I watched the movie, and I enjoyed them both!  There are times when I adamantly will oppose fiction presented as fact.  Namely, in the teaching of future generations. For instance, telling your 3rd grader that the Holocaust never happened.  However, when it comes to fiction, masked in veils of truth, can I really get mad at how the storyteller chooses to tell the story.

History always has a slant as told by the historian. I am not sure why some intellectuals of color are so outraged that a white woman told the story of black women through the lens of a white woman. That is her experience.  No one will ever be able to tell the story of Aibileen, Minny, Constatine and the other maids of The Help better than the African-American maids of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.  Unfortunately, those women did not write a book about their experiences, or maybe they did and I have not had the pleasure of encountering those yet.

My recommendation to everyone is to read the book. Allow yourself to get wrapped up in what is nothing shy of a good story. Go see the movie. Laugh, shed tears, and tremble in fear as you watch the story unfold.  Enjoy this piece of fiction. And if by chance it is based on some truth as Ms. Stockett’s brother’s former maid alleges in the article above, then let that play out in a court of law!

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Amazing! Just the way I am!

August 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

“When I see my face, there is not a thing that I would change, because I’m amazing just the way I am. And when I smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while because I am amazing, just the way I am!” ~Bruno Mars (with my spin).

This weight loss journey is just as much for my spiritual health as it is for my physical help. Some days, I look in the mirror and say horrible things to myself. “You’re too fat,” “you’re too dark,” your breast are too large,” and a host of other “you’re too this or that.” On those bad days, I tell myself these flaws are the reason I am single. Then there are other days, good days. Days when I love my dark skin because I rarely have a blemish. Days that I enjoy the way my hips fill out a pair of jeans. Days that I love that my cleavage puts every other woman in the room in envy.  Those are really good days!

I’ve decided the good days should outweigh the bad days. I have taken to writing little inspirations on my bathroom mirror. Every morning, I make me tell myself “I love my . . . because . . .”  I don’t allow myself to leave the bathroom until I come up with something.  Standing in the mirror left to my own criticism and praise can be very challenging, but it is catapulting me to the land of self acceptance.  And what can be better than learning to love yourself.

BTW, I am down 8 pounds since the beginning of July. Jennifer Hudson, watch out!

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